5 Common Payment Mistakes Your Business Should Avoid

Aside from having a great product and brand, one of the things successful businesses have been able to master is the ability to get ordinary people like you and I to pull out their wallet and pay.

Unfortunately, most small businesses are under the illusion that the key to building a successful business is to have a product and to keep increasing marketing efforts. It doesn’t work that way!

While having the right product is important and marketing is critical, it’s much more important to close the sale. If you’re a business and you’re making the 5 mistakes outlined below, they’ll stifle your business!

Mistake #1: Asking for More Information than Necessary

With the introduction of mobile payment, mobile wallet systems and NFC systems it’s increasingly becoming easy to make payments and technologies that allow people to make payments within seconds are becoming increasingly popular; that’s why one of the most dangerous mistakes you can make in your business is to ask people for more information than necessary.

When it comes to asking for payment details, the number one question you should ask yourself is “is filling this field really necessary to process this payment?” This question alone could save your business a lot of money!

A recent case study that proved the effectiveness of asking for fewer details on a payment form is one conducted by Expedia; just by removing a single field from its payment form, Expedia was able to experience an increase of $12 million in annual revenue.

Even if you’re trying to gain data for marketing, you can easily ask for necessary details after the payment process has been completed.

Mistake #2: Your Checkout Process is too lengthy

According to a 2010 Webcredible survey 1200 people were interviewed and were asked what were the main reasons they abandon the checkout processes on websites; 10% of those who were surveyed cited “lengthy checkout process” as the reason.

How many pages do people have to go through before being finally able to checkout on your website and how many checkout buttons do they have to click? If it’s more than one, then you’re probably losing a lot in the process. You’ll experience a lot more success and increase in revenue by significantly reducing the checkout process.

Mistake #3: Not Having Enough Payment Options

According to recent data from BankCardSD, around 80% of Visa Card, Master Card and American Express card holders agree that a business should have as many payment options as possible irrespective of the nature of the business.

One of the most dangerous mistakes you can make in your business is not having enough payment options; to put things in perspective, for example, PayPal only has 120 million users while there are over a billion online shoppers worldwide. Just by limiting yourself to those who can pay with PayPal, you’ll be losing potentially 90% of sales you could otherwise have made; it could be more or less depending on the nature of your business but one thing is certain, you’ll be losing by restricting your customers to just one payment option.

Make sure you allow people to pay through as many means as possible; it could be via PayPal, Credit Card, Bank Transfer, ACH and other options depending on the nature of your business.

Mistake #4: Not Assuring Customers that their Payment Details is Safe with You

Data from the Unisys Security Index has revealed that the number one fear Americans have amidst the global financial crisis is the fear of being a victim of credit card fraud; it was also revealed that this fear supersedes the fear of terrorism, computer viruses and even personal safety.

Most customers are apprehensive when it comes to entering their credit card or debit card information on a website online and there’s little doubt they don’t trust your website, too; you can change this however by using a reliable payment processor and by letting people realize that their details is secure with you.

You can also use various seals and logos from reliable sites like Visa, MasterCard and the BBB to let people know that your site is trusted and reliable.

Mistake #5: Having a Weak or No Call to Action

While it’s easy to believe that all the above listed mistakes could cost you more sales, this particular one is probably unbelievable; the reality is that the wording you use on the button people have to click to submit the form authorizing paying for your product or service could be costing you sales. Even after they’ve filled their credit card details!

This was effectively proven by a recent study by ContentVerve; in this study, a particular online business was able to increase conversions by 31% just by changing the call to action people have to click to authorize their payments.

Just because people are on your site or are convinced that they need your product doesn’t mean they will buy; last minute changes can occur and people are very susceptible to changing their minds. By having a strong call to action on your website, you won’t have problems getting people to pay.

This post was written by Joseph. When Joseph isn’t busy writing or researching payment options online, he’s busy working on the ACH Payments website.